Let’s think of something other than doom and gloom in the world, and what better to lift our spirits than today, March 20, World Happiness Day?
I had to do some research on this interesting UN sanctioned day, which I was unfamiliar with until I came across it in a CNN news article today.
The Prime Minister of Bhutan was credited for having started this one in 2011. Read below of what I learned.
Bhutan is a tiny country of 700,000 located adjacent to China and Nepal. It is touted as having a unique culture and traditions steeped in mysticism and spirituality. One website lists 5 characterics of the people: satisfied with how they live (not overly materialistic); not into modern devices (computers, cell phones, appliances); strong belief in Buddhism; no one smokes (a smoking ban has been in effect since “forever”); the citizens live in a pollution -free environment, with the country tucked deep into the Himalayan Mountain range and the people living in untouched wilderness.
Tourists are said to regard Bhutanese as the friendliest people in the world. Is it any wonder that Bhutan proposed a World Happiness Day to the United Nations in 2011, which brought international attention to happiness as a measurement of well-being.
In 2012, the United Nations General Assembly declared March 20 as World Happiness Day, which recognizes “the relevance of happiness and well-being as universal goals and aspirations in the lives of human beings around the world and the importance of their recognition in public policy objectives.”
If you’re wondering which countries, besides Bhutan, are listed as the happiest, take a look at what I found.
The Gallup World Poll yearly analyzes 156 countries and ranks according to happiness. Here are the findings for 2020:
World’s happiest countries
8. New Zealand
On World Happiness Day: Take Time to Do Something which brings you Happiness!
I realize that many of us at this time find little to be happy about. Fear, anxiety and worry engulf us as dire doom-and-gloom announcements bombard us on a daily, hourly, even minutely basis.
Let’s try to pull ourselves away from the TV, disheartening newspaper articles, computer pandemic searches and listening to disconcerting radio reports. We can use this extraordinary, precious opportunity to spread some happiness, both in our lives and in others. We can take extra time to: be with family, read good books that have been put on hold for years due to busy-ness, watch a fun movie, dig through long-lost recipes and try out a few for upcoming meals, tidy up the house for a self-satisfying feeling of accomplishment, go through old photograph albums of nostalgic memories past and present, or mail cards and hand-written personal notes to relatives, friends and lonely neighbors in your community, or, for those who are religious, your faith-centered family.
I am sure if you sit down and think on it, you’ll come up with even better ones than I’ve listed. Give it a go!
My Happiness Defined
Despite the indefinite delay in my return to China, a country I call home, and my full-filling work as an Amity Foundation English teacher there, I am very grateful and thankful for this time in Marshall with my mom. It has been a Godsend in many ways, and continues to be so, as we spend our special time together reminiscing, discussing, advising, agreeing and disagreeing, getting on each other’s nerves (yes, it does happen!) and everything else that goes on between a close-knit mother and daughter pair.
Rest assured, I’m taking advantage of as much good as I can find from all this. Hope you can, too.
From Illinois, here’s wishing you happiness for your March 20th, World Happiness Day.